Juneau's Tompkins fourth at Worlds

Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2004

Joe Tompkins of Juneau took fourth place in his disability classification and was the top American in Saturday's downhill race at the Disabled Alpine World Championships in Wildschoenau, Austria.

Tompkins, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a 1988 auto accident and competes in the LW-11 division, posted an adjusted time of 1 minute, 22.48 seconds over the downhill course.

Austria's Harald Eder won the LW-11 division race in 1:20.62, followed by Austria's Andreas Schiestl (1:20.96) and Italy's Fabrizio Zardini (1:21.13). Tompkins was the only American skier in his division, one of three for monoskiers.

American skier Kevin Bramble of Truckee, Calif., won the LW-12 division for monoskiers in 1:16.70, followed by Germany's Thomas Mayer in 1:18.14. Sweden's Ronny Persson, who trains in the United States, was the only LW-10 monoskier to finish in his division, posting a time of 1:24.90.

For the World Championships, the skiers are broken down into their respective divisions which rate the amount of mobility and balance each skier has in his monoski. During World Cup races, all three monoskier divisions compete together.

The World Championships continue with a Super-G for men and women today, followed by the men's giant slalom on Tuesday, women's giant slalom on Wednesday, men's slalom on Thursday and women's slalom on Friday.

Last Sunday, Tompkins was the top mono-skier in a World Cup Super-G race in Abtenau, Austria. It was his best international finish since winning the inaugural World Cup downhill race, a two-run downhill due to patchy snow, in December 1999 in Breckenridge, Colo.

Last Tuesday, Tompkins closed out a two-week series of World Cup races with a 27th-place finish among monoskiers in a giant slalom in Wildschoenau, Austria, his worst finish of the two weeks.

In that race Tompkins had been on pace to finish about 15th among monoskiers, but lost about 15 seconds retracing part of the course in his second run after missing a gate. He had a two-run time of 2:49.40, with the first run 1:15.60 and the second 1:33.80.

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